Re: '99 conference & confused - rapid milling?

Date: Mon Apr 26 1999 - 13:06:51 EEST

-- [ From: Al Hastbacka * EMC.Ver #2.5.3 ] --

At the currrent prices of RP systems, most of the RP manufacturers are
selling their machines below cost. (That is why nearly all of the
publicly traded manufacturers are reporting a net loss on their business
Now you are asking them to take even a bigger loss.

Al Hastbacka
-------- REPLY, Original message follows --------

> Date: Saturday, 24-Apr-99 10:41 AM
> From: T Schuett \ Internet: (
> To: RP MAIL LIST \ Internet: (
> Subject: '99 conference & confused - rapid milling?
> >Sure, everything cost money but the amount of money the RP industry
> expecting is pretty high. >The SBs have realised this and have dropped
> rates and are seeing benefits.
> >It is high time now that the OEMs too realise this and start reducing
> prices to affordable >levels.
> >RP per say has limited application and with the metal RP coming to
> coupled with enhanced >accuracy and speed, I think it is just a matter
> time (my guess is about 2-5 years) when the RP >gets into the main
> production lines. When I say RP, I mean the technology and am not
> restricting >myself to the SBs.
> I'm confused by the overall tone of the correspondence on this list
that I'm
> new to, so bear with me...
> Is the purpose of RP to make prototypes quickly and accurately or is
> technology for technology's sake?
> There seems a real absence of discussion of enhanced use of
traditional (?)
> technology like CNC milling within this group! Many in the industry
> me during the show to discuss their newfound respect for real high-
> CNC milling of models, citing the better finish off the machine, less
> greater resulting accuracy and the generally equivalent speed. The
> choice of materials seems to make prototypes that better represent
> parts. Overall, rapid milling seems to be the method of choice for
those with
> that choice.
> Does that mean that I don't respect the high value of other RP
techniques and
> their need to evolve into more useful tools? Absolutely not. Rather,
> encourage the use of all available technology to get the job done
quickly and
> accurately, at a profit. Certainly there are significant advantages
to many RP
> techniques for many parts with complex buildups or structural
> Still, I think the intense discussions on choices and competitive
> within this group are lacking acknowledgement of "best methods." I
expect this
> will draw many remarks that traditional techniques do not require
> but the clang about CAD/CAM, as an equally established tool, convinces
me that
> there is still a lot to be said of the ongoing evolution of so much
> stuff.
> Many have stated concerns over the future of the industry. No
surprise here!
> Much of the tooling industry in "rapid" and non-rapid (like molds and
dies" are
> concerned where it is all going. I can see a convergence in plastic
> mold making with the "rapid" industry because my customers keep
improving on
> their deliveries and techniques. They are using well-known techniques
> milling and EDM to get more aggressive about making prototypes.
> aluminum or even hard P20, etc. are commonly being used to build
prototypes in
> just a week or two. My customers now tell me that the only difference
in a
> prototype and a "hard" tool is the complexity of the mechanism and the
> of cavities. They are now building cell phone part "prototype" molds
of P20,
> capable of millions of parts, in less than 2 weeks!
> Will this put you out of business? Not likely unless you're faint-
hearted. You
> and your business will have to evolve to offer different services
and/or other
> advantages, though. More creative design service integrated with
visual models
> seems to be the logical separation of prototyping from the engineering
> technical service offered by a mold shop. Still, that convergence of
> prototyping with mold shops will continue, say I.
> So back to the milling and technology for its own sake...
> One of the many notable things frequently discussed on the floor of
the show
> was the speed, finish, accuracy, and choice of materials offered by
> milling. Many have a bad taste for it because they haven't seen the
> They think 60 IPM is fast for CNC milling. That is way wrong!
> Defiance Innovations was showing a small and inexpensive (relatively -
> CNC machining center that is arguably the fastest in the industry. We
> talking fast in rapid traverse rates, but rather fast in SUSTAINED
> Because of quality design and look-ahead in their CNC control, they
> program for 500 IPM or so and sustain it more of the time than anyone.
> means dramatically faster parts than most expect from CNC milling.
The speed
> is also used with finer stepovers to virtually finish the parts right
on the
> CNC. Defiance Innovations also offers smaller bench mills that are
> fast and accurate for their low $35,000 starting price tag! They
still use the
> same feedrates as the higher priced models above.
> My own company, Creative Technology Corporation, offers retrofits and
> CNC mills, again offering sustained higher feedrates. One prototype
service on
> the floor had no complaint of his CNC speed, generally using feedrates
> 60 IPM on large Haas machines for most all his prototypes. He was
floored to
> learn that he could speed things up 3 to 5 times or more just by a CNC
> change on that same machine! We have a lot of experience doing that
for people
> in the rapid prototyping trade for about 15 years.
> Successful rapid milling relies on fast and efficient cutterpathing.
We aren't
> just talking about crunching the numbers faster, but also taking less
> intervention. The HUMAN LABOR to cutterpath CNC parts can seem like
one of the
> biggest hurdles. PTC's Pro/Man can do better than ever before for
both speed
> and reliability. Still, it can be complicated to learn and use. A
real secret
> weapon can be Sescoi's WorkNC. It is only a 3-D cutterpathing package
, working
> with all CAD and CAD/CAM packages. WorkNC's benefit is that it takes
almost no
> labor to make your cutterpathing choices and cut 3-D parts reliably!
It can be
> counted on for good, gouge-free paths day in and day out. While other
> companies are aspiring to this noble need, they have a 10 year track
record of
> success. Their fast and accurate cutterpaths can make the difference
in your
> success or failure with rapid milling.
> SLA is the stuff dreams are made of. Parts magically emerge from
> with light, smoke and mirrors. That's not cynical, it's a true
statement! What
> more could we want? The other technologies each represent new and
> ways to solve many specific challenges in our trade. Still, we
mustn't forget
> our mandate to run our businesses for a profit! We must use the
> tools to push the envelope, not only of technology, but also the
service and
> profit envelope. Don't ignore the evolving changes in your old
technology that
> can make it key today! When you can offer more accurate and faithful
> prototypes faster, with less manual work and a lower overhead, this is
> stuff business dreams and success is made of!
> Todd Schuett
> Creative Technology Corp.
> P.S. I sincerely want people to use the tools they have to the best
> This was not intended as a commercial. That's why I didn't list web
> right with the text. Still, some will want more info, so I ask the
others to
> forgive the following... If you want more information on any of the
> mentioned, Defiance Innovations, Creative
> Corporation, Sescoi WorkNC
> For more information about the rp-ml, see

-------- REPLY, End of original message --------

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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